It was a very special night for Be Wiser Insurance as they were named as the 'Rolls-Royce Newcomer Large Employer of the Year' at the 12th annual National Apprenticeship Awards on Tuesday 26th January!
Hosted at the exclusive Grosvenor House in London, Be Wiser overcame competition from UBS Wealth Management and Highways England to be recognised as a company that excels in promoting the talent growth of apprentices.
Skills Minister Nick Boles:
“Congratulations to Be Wiser Insurance for your success at the National Apprenticeship Awards. Apprenticeships truly are set to be one of the great success stories of the decade, and Be Wiser is a worthy ambassador.
“We are committed to 3 million apprenticeships by 2020 so that even more businesses can follow Be Wiser's lead and reap the benefits of apprenticeships.”
The award comes after the success at regional level, an honour that Be Wiser also accomplished in 2014. Be Wiser has surpassed last years achievement and has been chosen as one of the national winners this year for the commitment shown developing young people through apprenticeships.
On accepting the award, Crescens George, Director of Training and Development said:
“Apprenticeships have enriched and improved our business in many ways. Along with other telephone based sales companies, Be Wiser has previously seen a high turnover of staff. The key benefit of providing apprenticeships has been increased staff retention.
“Introducing apprenticeships to the business has enabled us to invest in our staff and turn `jobs` into `careers`. For many of our employees, apprenticeships scheme has given them an opportunity to reengage in education.
“As well as improvements around retention and the engagement of staff in education, we are pleased to report business growth. Since introducing apprenticeships we have seen increased productivity and our business and client base has continued to grow at an impressive rate. Having such a large number of apprentices is something not only to take pride in but also a responsibility, to provide high quality opportunities and support that mean our programmes are the best in the industry.”
Be Wiser has always maintained a strong emphasis on staff development particularly on enhancing the skills of young talent. Since employing its first apprentice in September 2013, the company has taken leaps and bounds, and now boasts more than 250 apprentices.
Be Wiser also featured in the prestigious Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer List for the second year running alongside other companies such as Microsoft UK, BAE Systems, Barclays Bank and Lloyds Banking Group. The list, which is compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service, sponsored by City & Guilds, recognises excellence in businesses that employ apprentices.
Employment Minister Priti Patel:
“I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to Be Wiser Insurance for their fantasticachievement in being named Rolls-Royce Newcomer Large Employer of the Year.
“Apprenticeships offer a fantastic way for many young people of all backgrounds to earn as they learn while providing employers with the transferable skills needed to take their business from strength to strength. We currently have record-breaking levels of employment – and this is boosted by prospects like apprenticeships. I want to see this continue.
“By working closely with businesses and taking steps like rolling out our ‘Jobcentre Plus Support for Schools’ programme to teach pupils about work experience, apprenticeships and traineeships, we are helping to create an even more flexible and resilient labour market for the future.”
For the past 12 years the National Apprenticeship Service has challenged the nation's top apprenticeship employers and apprentices to come forward to showcase the benefits of the scheme. The awards show is the perfect opportunity to share success stories and explain the real differences apprentices have made for businesses.
Nadhim Zahawi, the Prime Minister’s Apprenticeship Adviser, who presented the awards, said:
“The Prime Minister has committed to 3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020 and I am excited to have a role in helping to deliver this goal, while pushing to revolutionise the skills of our workforce in Britain. Good quality apprenticeships create a fairer society by giving hard working young people the chance to aim for their dream job whilst playing their part in building a stronger economy for Britain.
“There are many examples of excellent apprenticeships and apprentices in England and these winners are the best of the best. I congratulate Be Wiser Insurance on their success. It’s an honour to have been part of these awards; to play a small part in recognising the effort of so many great businesses and to reward apprentices for their hard work and dedication. All this year’s winners should shout from the rooftops about what taking an apprenticeship has done for them or what hiring an apprentice has done for their business. I am determined that apprenticeships should be given the recognition they deserve, because they absolutely do deserve it.”
David Campbell, Rolls-Royce Learning and Development Manager:
“Apprentice programmes are an important national resource, helping businesses to create the next generation of successful employees and opening up a wealth of opportunity and training to new recruits. It is very pleasing to see that Be Wiser recognises the value that a well-structured and properly supported apprentice scheme can bring and that this has been rewarded with the Apprenticeship Newcomer Large Employer Award at this year’s National Apprenticeship Awards.
“Rolls-Royce has trained apprentices for over a century, so we understand the enormous value they bring. We truly believe apprenticeships provide people with the strong foundation needed for a successful career and this is proved by the fact that over a fifth of today’s Rolls-Royce senior management started their careers in our apprenticeship programme. The National Apprenticeship Awards play a significant role in promoting and recognising the achievements of companies that are investing in apprenticeships.”
Categories for the awards ranged from small to macro, as well as two newcomer categories for large and small-medium enterprises. Awards were also handed to individual apprentices within four categories: intermediate, advanced, higher apprentice of the year, and last of all the highly prized apprenticeship champion of the year.
For more information visit the 2015 National Apprenticeship Awards website.